Daily Congressional proceedings may include legislative activity by the chambers and their committees, Member remarks, communications from the president, and more (described below in Congressional Record Sections). Note that official records of House and Senate actions are recorded in their respective journals.
Congress.gov provides numerous ways to access the CR. Among them are:
Congress.gov provides full-text access to daily CR issues dating from 1995 (beginning with the 104th Congress). New issues become available on Congress.gov shortly after they are published on GPO’s govinfo usually before 10:00 am. Late availability, often due to a late night Congressional session, is announced on the Most Recent Issue page. Issues are not usually printed for days that neither the Senate nor House met.
Congressional Record Bound Edition
At the end of each session of Congress, all of the daily editions are collected, re-paginated, and re-indexed into a permanent, bound edition. This permanent edition, referred to as the Congressional Record (Bound Edition), is made up of one volume per session of Congress, with each volume published in multiple parts, each part containing approximately 10 to 20 days of Congressional proceedings. The primary ways in which the bound edition differs from the daily edition are continuous pagination; somewhat edited, revised, and rearranged text; and the dropping of the prefixes H, S, and E before page numbers.
Congress.gov provides access to the Bound Edition of the Congressional Record from 1945 (79th Congress) through 1994 (103rd Congress). A project is underway to add older volumes. See Coverage Dates for current information on Congressional Record volumes available on Congress.gov.
Filters facilitate limiting items by Congress, Chamber of Origin, Section, and Member Remarks
Congressional Record Index is topical access to remarks and activities by Members, individuals, organizations, and legislative business mentioned in the CR. Index entries include a linked Congressional Record page number and the day and month of the issue where the topic is discussed.
Searching the Congressional Record
To search the full text of the CR, choose Congressional Record from the search dropdown menu on the homepage, and enter a keyword or phrase in quotes. Refine search results by using the “search within” feature, or by selecting additional criteria from the filters to the left of results.
Congressional Record – Specialized Search Forms describes additional search options. Note that Member Remarks are not available prior to the 104th Congress. The Member Remarks selection lists are not populated on the search form if a Congress prior to the 104th is selected from the Congress selection list.
See Search Tools for details on using operators and fields in your search query.
Congressional Record Sections
The CR is a daily account of the business conducted by each chamber and their committees. Each issue may include these sections:
Daily Digest is the default view for the CR. It provides a summary of the previous day’s legislative activity. These headings may be present within the Daily Digest section:
Extensions of Remarks used only by House of Representative members to publish additional statements not actually delivered on the House floor.
Congressional Record Citations
Daily edition – Four distinct sections and page number series are within each daily issue. Page numbers are preceded by single letters designating the section, and require a volume number or date to be unique:
S for Senate (e.g., Volume 162, Issue No. 7, January 12, 2016, S45-S46)
H for House (e.g., Volume 161, Issue No. 9, January 20, 2015, H419-H424 Example is the president’s State of the Union Address.)
E for Extensions of Remarks (e.g., Volume 158, Issue No. 154, December 4, 2012, E1875)
D for Daily Digest (e.g., Volume 154, Issue No. 65, April 23, 2008, D421-D482 Example is an announcement that Richard Gere is testifying at a committee hearing.)
Bound edition – After the end of each year, a permanent final version, referred to as the Congressional Record ‘bound edition’, is prepared by GPO. In the bound edition, the pagination is continuous, and there is some editing and rearrangement of texts.
Citations for daily edition issues differ from citations to the bound edition. Compare citations from both editions that have this title CONFERENCE REPORT ON HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 83, CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002:
The CR has been published by the GPO since 1873. Before 1873, records of congressional proceedings were kept under various titles: Annals of Congress, Register of Debates and Congressional Globe. Reporters of Debate and the Congressional Record provides narrative history.